5 Characteristics Of A Christian Congregation

Started by Dave Likeness, October 07, 2019, 06:43:49 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Dave Benke

Quote from: James Eivan on October 13, 2019, 02:46:18 AM
Quote from: Charles Austin on October 11, 2019, 06:38:18 AM
I comment:
So what is (or was) "true Missouri"?
Piepkorn? Some of us in the LCA read and admired him.
Walther? We had never heard of him.
Tietjen? Harms? Bertram? Nagel? Sasse? Werning? Any Preus? Becker? All these men were products of the same church and college system.
Bohlmann? (Before or after those who elected him turned on him?)
Perhaps Bohlmann turned on his electors because of his role in the "honorable" retirement of Dr. Robert Preus ... perhaps he turned on his electors in later years because his theology became more "moderate". Perhaps this will jog your memory

Had you properly fact checked J. A. O. Preus and Robert D. Preus a bit closer, you would not have included them in your list of "All these men were products of the same church and college system" because there is no indication that either man earned a degree from the LCMS college system.  Furthermore, both men attended Luther Seminary in Minneapolis, MN because their uncle was professor there.

YMMV, but apparently Robert Preus "found Luther Seminary, which was the seminary of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (NLCA), to be theologically compromising and indifferent, so he left to attend the newly formed Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) in Mankato, Minnesota."

Interesting analysis, James Eivan.  Two items struck me - first your 180 degree "turning" of Charles' comment, "those who elected him turned on him," to "he turned on his electors" (done twice for emphasis by you.  That's professional-level church-political inside-outing.  Whatever the other guy says, turn it back on him/her at double strength.  Kudos to you.

Second, the use of the article from 1992 concerning Ralph Bohlmann with this quote:  Bohlmann failed to poll the most nominations from local congregations in pre-convention balloting.  This has pretty much always in recent history been the red line indicator of electoral direction in the Missouri Synod.  And that's why the issue of the Harrisonian Presidential Postcards was of near-ultimate significance in the recent Missouri Synod presidential process.  And further, that nothing of substance was done about that manipulation internally by anybody.  Again, kudos to you for identifying that significance in bringing the public media article to our attention.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Charles Austin

The way I read it, your election process pretty much assures that a relatively small, but smart, dedicated, well organized and well financed cabal can pretty much completely control the election of your president, assisted by an old boy's club of lesser lights, often wannabe pastors desiring to "save" their grandfather's Synod, hold back or actually purge dissidents and get a piece of the pie themselves.
A savvy Synod president seeking re-election knows how to tap these "resources." And how not to make the tapping too visible.
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

James J Eivan

Quote from: Dave Benke on October 13, 2019, 08:56:58 AM
Quote from: James Eivan on October 13, 2019, 02:46:18 AM
Quote from: Charles Austin on October 11, 2019, 06:38:18 AM
I comment:
So what is (or was) "true Missouri"?
Piepkorn? Some of us in the LCA read and admired him.
Walther? We had never heard of him.
Tietjen? Harms? Bertram? Nagel? Sasse? Werning? Any Preus? Becker? All these men were products of the same church and college system.
Bohlmann? (Before or after those who elected him turned on him?)
Perhaps Bohlmann turned on his electors because of his role in the "honorable" retirement of Dr. Robert Preus ... perhaps he turned on his electors in later years because his theology became more "moderate". Perhaps this will jog your memory

Had you properly fact checked J. A. O. Preus and Robert D. Preus a bit closer, you would not have included them in your list of "All these men were products of the same church and college system" because there is no indication that either man earned a degree from the LCMS college system.  Furthermore, both men attended Luther Seminary in Minneapolis, MN because their uncle was professor there.

YMMV, but apparently Robert Preus "found Luther Seminary, which was the seminary of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (NLCA), to be theologically compromising and indifferent, so he left to attend the newly formed Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) in Mankato, Minnesota."

Interesting analysis, James Eivan.  Two items struck me - first your 180 degree "turning" of Charles' comment, "those who elected him turned on him," to "he turned on his electors" (done twice for emphasis by you.  That's professional-level church-political inside-outing.  Whatever the other guy says, turn it back on him/her at double strength.  Kudos to you.

Second, the use of the article from 1992 concerning Ralph Bohlmann with this quote:  Bohlmann failed to poll the most nominations from local congregations in pre-convention balloting.  This has pretty much always in recent history been the red line indicator of electoral direction in the Missouri Synod.  And that's why the issue of the Harrisonian Presidential Postcards was of near-ultimate significance in the recent Missouri Synod presidential process.  And further, that nothing of substance was done about that manipulation internally by anybody.  Again, kudos to you for identifying that significance in bringing the public media article to our attention.

Dave Benke
I had to chuckle when I read your post ... quite the response I expected ... but from Charles.


I'm a bit mystified about your statement "That's professional-level church-political inside-outing.  Whatever the other guy says, turn it back on him/her at double strength."  First of all, I am not, nor have I ever been a professional church worker or politician.  I have never been a congregational president/elder ... and have only been a delegate to one district convention ... many years after the spats of the 70's and 80's ... and never a synodical convention delegate.

Charles has clearly stated that his vision for the LCMS is that it adopt much if not all of the ELCA theology ... from an LCMS perspective kind of wishing evil on our beloved church body. It should it come as no surprise that he would portray an revisionist version of what happened.

There was no "turn it back on him/her at double strength" malarkey on my part. It was a simple truthful statement of the history I have lived in the LCMS. I was thankful for Dr. Bohlmann's work on the CTCR,  Seminary and Synodical President especially his drafting of "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles" while on the CTCR.  I was not disappointed when his term ended in 1992.  I did not remember, nor did I pay much attention to the linked article's information about the nomination count that you referenced. Honestly after 30 years I all I could remember is that I had lost trust in him because of the Robert Preus fiasco.

So NO! I was not one of "those who elected him and turned on him" as Charles snarks, but rather one of many who realized that Dr. Bohlmann's theology had changed and was no longer what it was in his earlier years. I'm sorry that other than the Preus fiasco, I do not remember much more ... I had hoped the Chicago Tribune article would jog my memory ... but no such luck at least so far.

As far as your derailing the thread with discussion of the 1992 "pre-convention balloting" it would seem to that in addition to the Preus fiasco, the ignoring multiple rulings of the Commission on Appeals ruling by Dr. Bohlmann and the CTSFW Board of Regents (of which you have started you were a member of) where ample reason or proof that Dr. Bohlmann was a renegade and had left his electors. Rehashing the "Harrisonian Presidential Postcards" seems to be about a God pleasing as rehashing the Yankee Stadium affair.

The main intent of my original post was to correct Charles' erroneous post which stated  "Tietjen? Harms? Bertram? Angel? Sassy? Warning? Any Preus? Becker? All these men were products of the same church and college system."

Please Charles, demonstrate that my citations are in error, or simply correct the the above statement.

James J Eivan

Quote from: Charles Austin on October 13, 2019, 06:16:15 PM
The way I read it, your election process pretty much assures that a relatively small, but smart, dedicated, well organized and well financed cabal can pretty much completely control the election of your president, assisted by an old boy's club of lesser lights, often wannabe pastors desiring to "save" their grandfather's Synod, hold back or actually purge dissidents and get a piece of the pie themselves.
A savvy Synod president seeking re-election knows how to tap these "resources." And how not to make the tapping too visible.
Perhaps another history lesson is in order.  The current election process as you call it was proposed by former synodical President Kieschnick's Blue Ribbon Task Force ... and ironically opposed by the current synodical president.  Did you criticize this election process before it was adopted and the current office holder was elected or are your comments motivated my your disdain for the current office holder and/or the theological positions he espouses?

Charles Austin

James Eivan writes:
Perhaps another history lesson is in order.  The current election process as you call it was proposed by former synodical President Kieschnick's Blue Ribbon Task Force ... and ironically opposed by the current synodical president.  Did you criticize this election process before it was adopted and the current office holder was elected or are your comments motivated my your disdain for the current office holder and/or the theological positions he espouses?
I comment:
I am not LCMS, although I have had long experience with the Synod over the past 50 years. i have no standing to "criticize" your election process. My comments about a cabal of operatives being able to control who is elected apply in general, not just to the current situation.
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

Steven W Bohler

Mr. Eivan,

Dr. Bohlmann DID change (or "turn on" those who had elected him) theologically.  Among other things (as the link below says), in his softening towards women's ordination.  And, as Dr. Becker suggests in that linked blog, it seems to have happened about the time that his daughter was ordained in another church body.

http://matthewlbecker.blogspot.com/2016/07/dr-ralph-bohlmann-1932-2016.html


Dave Benke

Quote from: James Eivan on October 14, 2019, 01:32:29 AM
Quote from: Dave Benke on October 13, 2019, 08:56:58 AM
Quote from: James Eivan on October 13, 2019, 02:46:18 AM
Quote from: Charles Austin on October 11, 2019, 06:38:18 AM
I comment:
So what is (or was) "true Missouri"?
Piepkorn? Some of us in the LCA read and admired him.
Walther? We had never heard of him.
Tietjen? Harms? Bertram? Nagel? Sasse? Werning? Any Preus? Becker? All these men were products of the same church and college system.
Bohlmann? (Before or after those who elected him turned on him?)
Perhaps Bohlmann turned on his electors because of his role in the "honorable" retirement of Dr. Robert Preus ... perhaps he turned on his electors in later years because his theology became more "moderate". Perhaps this will jog your memory

Had you properly fact checked J. A. O. Preus and Robert D. Preus a bit closer, you would not have included them in your list of "All these men were products of the same church and college system" because there is no indication that either man earned a degree from the LCMS college system.  Furthermore, both men attended Luther Seminary in Minneapolis, MN because their uncle was professor there.

YMMV, but apparently Robert Preus "found Luther Seminary, which was the seminary of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (NLCA), to be theologically compromising and indifferent, so he left to attend the newly formed Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) in Mankato, Minnesota."

Interesting analysis, James Eivan.  Two items struck me - first your 180 degree "turning" of Charles' comment, "those who elected him turned on him," to "he turned on his electors" (done twice for emphasis by you.  That's professional-level church-political inside-outing.  Whatever the other guy says, turn it back on him/her at double strength.  Kudos to you.

Second, the use of the article from 1992 concerning Ralph Bohlmann with this quote:  Bohlmann failed to poll the most nominations from local congregations in pre-convention balloting.  This has pretty much always in recent history been the red line indicator of electoral direction in the Missouri Synod.  And that's why the issue of the Harrisonian Presidential Postcards was of near-ultimate significance in the recent Missouri Synod presidential process.  And further, that nothing of substance was done about that manipulation internally by anybody.  Again, kudos to you for identifying that significance in bringing the public media article to our attention.

Dave Benke
I had to chuckle when I read your post ... quite the response I expected ... but from Charles.


I'm a bit mystified about your statement "That's professional-level church-political inside-outing.  Whatever the other guy says, turn it back on him/her at double strength."  First of all, I am not, nor have I ever been a professional church worker or politician.  I have never been a congregational president/elder ... and have only been a delegate to one district convention ... many years after the spats of the 70's and 80's ... and never a synodical convention delegate.

Charles has clearly stated that his vision for the LCMS is that it adopt much if not all of the ELCA theology ... from an LCMS perspective kind of wishing evil on our beloved church body. It should it come as no surprise that he would portray an revisionist version of what happened.

There was no "turn it back on him/her at double strength" malarkey on my part. It was a simple truthful statement of the history I have lived in the LCMS. I was thankful for Dr. Bohlmann's work on the CTCR,  Seminary and Synodical President especially his drafting of "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles" while on the CTCR.  I was not disappointed when his term ended in 1992.  I did not remember, nor did I pay much attention to the linked article's information about the nomination count that you referenced. Honestly after 30 years I all I could remember is that I had lost trust in him because of the Robert Preus fiasco.

So NO! I was not one of "those who elected him and turned on him" as Charles snarks, but rather one of many who realized that Dr. Bohlmann's theology had changed and was no longer what it was in his earlier years. I'm sorry that other than the Preus fiasco, I do not remember much more ... I had hoped the Chicago Tribune article would jog my memory ... but no such luck at least so far.

As far as your derailing the thread with discussion of the 1992 "pre-convention balloting" it would seem to that in addition to the Preus fiasco, the ignoring multiple rulings of the Commission on Appeals ruling by Dr. Bohlmann and the CTSFW Board of Regents (of which you have started you were a member of) where ample reason or proof that Dr. Bohlmann was a renegade and had left his electors. Rehashing the "Harrisonian Presidential Postcards" seems to be about a God pleasing as rehashing the Yankee Stadium affair.

The main intent of my original post was to correct Charles' erroneous post which stated  "Tietjen? Harms? Bertram? Angel? Sassy? Warning? Any Preus? Becker? All these men were products of the same church and college system."

Please Charles, demonstrate that my citations are in error, or simply correct the the above statement.

Your statement was inside-outing because you inside-outed Charles' statement.  Professional-level doesn't mean you're a church work professional, but that it's what church-political-pros do - it's basically a version of "yo mama/no, yo mama."  Kudos is a compliment.  You did it well.  Ralph Bohlmann did not, in my opinion, "cave" doctrinally.  His "weakened" position on women's service did not involve ordination, but did allow that lay women could hold congregational office, read lessons, etc., all things that are possible for lay people to do in the Missouri Synod at this time - which transpired long after he was out of office.  These allowances for the service of the laity and lay women in particular were and are viewed by the ultra-conservative minority in the LCMS as being against the will of God (ACELC, RD, SW et al).  The rest of us just go about our business.

As to prayer witness in public places such as Yankee Stadium (they're still playing ball there this year, against the Astros), next week the Atlantic District continues a tradition begun in 2003 called "Witness in the Public Square."  It's a set of events designed to honor those who bring strong witness in the public square, and was designed by me and mine after the prayer in Yankee Stadium to raise funds for missions.  Two and a half million dollars have been raised and used to extend the Gospel reach all over the world, including NYC.  Here's a link for this year, which includes honoree Rev. Dusan Toth, a Slovakian Lutheran hero of the faith:  https://ad-lcms.org/witness-in-the-public-square.  If so moved, you can contribute to the cause of witness in the public square.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Dave Likeness

My respect for Dr. Ralph Bohlmann is based on his theological acumen which he demonstrated
in his book "Principles of Biblical Interpretation in the Lutheran Confessions" and his authorship
of "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles."  He was also my professor at Concordia
Seminary, St. Louis where he taught "Christian Dogmatics".

In his lifetime Dr. Bohlmann never advocated the ordination of women in the LCMS. He did believe
that the issue of women serving in the local congregation on various boards and being lectors needed
to be discussed among a wider audience in the LCMS.  As Bishop Benke pointed out the LCMS
allowed women a greater opportunity for service in the local parish after the Presidency of Dr.
Bohlmann.

Steven Tibbetts

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on October 12, 2019, 03:14:49 AM
Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on October 12, 2019, 12:59:58 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on October 11, 2019, 06:35:45 PM
Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on October 11, 2019, 05:40:01 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on October 11, 2019, 03:44:45 AM

In the ELCA, the renegade pastors are those who ...

I find it rather difficult to use the word "renegade" for pastors who are lifted up as positive examples in Living Lutheran or whose works are well-promoted by the various arms of 1517 Media, who control the discussions on the mainstream ELCA social media, who create supplementary materials at Sundays and Seasons, etc.

Yup, supplementary materials. Not official. What ELCA social media are you talking about? None of the four ELCA related sites I'm on in Facebook are run by the ELCA.


Could you possibly be more non-responsive?

Yes. I seldom read articles in Living Lutheran. Even less often did I read the supplemental materials in Sundays and Seasons. Now, in retirement, I don't look at Sundays and Seasons at all. So, I have no responses to your claims about what's in those publications.

Not-knowing what you do, perhaps you should reconsider your qualification to speak of "renegade pastors" in the ELCA.
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on October 15, 2019, 04:05:48 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on October 12, 2019, 03:14:49 AM
Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on October 12, 2019, 12:59:58 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on October 11, 2019, 06:35:45 PM
Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on October 11, 2019, 05:40:01 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on October 11, 2019, 03:44:45 AM

In the ELCA, the renegade pastors are those who ...

I find it rather difficult to use the word "renegade" for pastors who are lifted up as positive examples in Living Lutheran or whose works are well-promoted by the various arms of 1517 Media, who control the discussions on the mainstream ELCA social media, who create supplementary materials at Sundays and Seasons, etc.

Yup, supplementary materials. Not official. What ELCA social media are you talking about? None of the four ELCA related sites I'm on in Facebook are run by the ELCA.


Could you possibly be more non-responsive?

Yes. I seldom read articles in Living Lutheran. Even less often did I read the supplemental materials in Sundays and Seasons. Now, in retirement, I don't look at Sundays and Seasons at all. So, I have no responses to your claims about what's in those publications.

Not-knowing what you do, perhaps you should reconsider your qualification to speak of "renegade pastors" in the ELCA.


Ok, I won't speak any more about them. Thus, this discussion is over.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk